Question HP printers being built so they will on use only HP produced cartridges


Golden Member
Mar 9, 2004
In looking for a new printer recently, I noticed on the HP sales site that they had a note which said that they are now using Firmware updates as well as other technical means to prohibit HP printer users from using NON-HP produced cartridges/supplies (i.e. aftermarket) with their printers. My question is are other printer manufacturers like Brother (and others) also doing this ? Thanks.


May 19, 2011
This is a new one on me. Historically printer manufacturers have always wanted to block third party cartridges, but IIRC it was Lexmark that last attempted to do this and lost in court. The balance since then AFAIK has been that printer manufacturers like to throw up software messages warning users that they're not using 'genuine' ink but nothing more than a warning.

I found this on the HP site which seems to agree with what you're saying:

There's so much weaselspeak in there that I can't figure out whether anything is actually changing with HP's strategy/enforcement. Assuming that something is changing (otherwise why would HP bother to start saying this now), I'd also assume that HP intends to lock users into their instant ink service in future.

More reasons to avoid HP!


Apr 6, 2002
I thought that most makers chipped their ink tanks, except for Brother. I don't print much any longer. I usually just get a Canon and buy generic ink. When the print head no longer can be cleaned, I just replace the printer.


Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
Lexmark did more than that. They chipped even their printer display panels so you couldn't pull a perfectly good one out of a new printer and swap it into yours.

Went through this exact thing and went rogue swapping the prom chip over from my old board to the new one to get it to work. Lexmark wanted almost half as much (at retail, no other source for new with no BS attached) for their display panel module as the whole printer cost! Screw Lexmark.

I can't tell you what current generation printer models are doing, but in my experience, Brother is less tight fisted about sneaky ways to lock down their hardware and carts.

However, I should add... you need the details for the specific model you are considering. My brother B&W laser, the starter cart needed a new higher capacity reset gear while the full cap retail carts don't, but after that point, I just dump bulk toner into it until the drum is worn out then get a new retail brother cart for the new drum, then repeat the process of bulk toner refilling it till the drum wears out again.

It also depends a bit on how much you print, how important this is. I used to print a lot more than I do now, so it was a cost per page issue while now I look at it more as cost per year, whether the printer takes decent sized carts or some ridiculously small ones trying to make their profit on cart sales.

I also rotate two carts. One, is bulk refilled a few times, and there is some toner "snow" on the pages, not much so it is perfectly acceptable for my needs but I also have a original-fill retail cart I can swap in if I need the best print quality possible... which I seldom do, but I have it as a backup too in case I get that low toner message and need to keep printing till I decide whether to bulk refill again or get another retail cart.
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